A man makes the holiday season brighter for seniors by visiting and bringing gifts.

Make the Holiday Season Brighter for Seniors With These Tips

As they say, it’s the most wonderful time of the year! But is it really? For older adults, it may actually be the most melancholy time of the year, as they wrestle with nostalgia over holidays past, chronic health conditions, the loss of loved ones, loneliness and isolation, and more. For family caregivers, it can be a time of incredible stress as well, as they try to make the holiday season brighter for the seniors they love.

How Can You Help Prevent Senior Holiday Blues and Restore a Sense of Joy?

Thankfully, there are steps you can take to help a loved one who’s feeling down this holiday season. These tips are a great place to start.

  • Consider lifestyle choices. The holidays go hand in hand with fatty, sugary, salty treats, which can tempt even the healthiest eater to stray. However, it’s important to know that depression can come from unhealthy eating as well as alcohol consumption. While of course you don’t want a senior loved one to spend the holiday season munching only on celery sticks, there is a healthy balance between enjoying small portions of treats while continuing to eat a balanced diet. And, don’t forget to urge the senior to get adequate sleep and to stay physically active each day.
  • Talk to the doctor. If in spite of a healthy lifestyle a senior family member is showing signs of depression, talk to the doctor immediately. There are treatment options that can help, and the doctor will also want to rule out any other health problems that mimic depression. Watch for symptoms like changes in sleeping and eating habits, disinterest in once-enjoyed activities and socializing, lethargy, and persistent sadness.
  • Remember the past. You may be tempted to steer clear of conversations about lost loved ones or holidays past, but the senior may find healing in reminiscing. Allow time to listen and talk with them about what they remember, look through photo albums or watch home movies together, and help the person process their sense of loss and begin to move towards a place of acceptance and comfort.
  • Start something new. While the past holds precious memories, new traditions started today can be a creative way to spark interest and joy. Plan a family caroling or karaoke night, get tickets for the local high school’s holiday performance, or schedule a festive lunch and shopping trip.
  • Help someone in need. There’s nothing like knowing you’ve done something to make someone else’s holiday brighter. Seek out opportunities for the senior to volunteer in whatever way possible to help another. Consider, for instance, baking cookies for a local homeless shelter, purchasing small toys and gifts to take to the children’s hospital, assembling care packages for service men and women, etc.

Our Caregivers Are Here to Help Make the Holidays Brighter for Seniors!

We love bringing a smile to the faces of those we serve, especially during the holidays! We can help with holiday decorating, take a senior loved one shopping to pick out gifts for family and friends, bake cookies together, and serve as a caring companion for conversations, reminiscing, and fun activities.

Reach out to us any time at (520) 355-4787 to find out more about how we can help a senior you love enjoy the holidays to the fullest. We’re pleased to serve those in Tucson, Sun City, Catalina Foothills, and the surrounding areas.

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